TRNAVA, September 22, 2015
First round of ARIMEX Challenger Open 2015 continued on Tuesday in TC EMPIRE club in Trnava. Tournament´s number one seed and 69th player in the ATP ranking, Dutchman Robin Haase had to give a hard fight to win over Italian qualifier Riccardo Bellotti in three sets 2:6, 6:2, 7:6 (5). The match lasted more than two hours.
„I did not play well today. In second set, I improved my game, that´s how my game should look like. I was lucky to win today. It was not a good match from my side,“ Haase told in the post-match interview.
Haase did not have his best day, had problems with his first serve and was struggling to find answers for Bellotti´s impressive forehand. „His forehand was great. He moved well on the court. It is good for a player to have these Qualities,“ Haase praised his opponent and spoke about his strengths.
When the number one seed took Bellotti´s serve in second set, he finally found his rhythm and won the whole set 6:2 It looked like the Italian will not find an answer. Exactly the opposite happened and the spectators enjoyed tremendous rallies in the third set between the two. The match went the distance into the tie-break of the final set, in which Haase showed calmer head and walked away with a win in his pocket.
„I took his serve in the second set. It was a boost for my game, I started to play better. In the third set, I had several opportunities to take his serve again, I was always in lead, but I messed it up and the end was dramatic.“
Haase wants to go further than last year, when he was eliminated in second round. „So far, I do not feel very well, same as last year. I hope, I can recover quickly and I will play here more matches. I will take treatment after the game and maybe I might go out and practice in the afternoon,” he said facing Austrian Michael Linzer next.
Third seed Iῆigo Cervantes also advanced to the second round, winning 6-4, 7-6 against Uladzimir Ignatik. The 25-year-old Spaniard fired 20 aces and won 76% of his first service points to seal victory in one hour and 48 minutes.
The tournament’s number six Horacio Zeballos led 4-0 before Rui Machado was forced to retire after only 13 minutes of play due to illness.
Trnava’s second seed Marco Cecchinato had to withdraw from the tournament due to stomach virus and has been substituted by Italian Frederico Gaio, who beat Vaclav Safranek winning 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 in one hour and 48 minutes.